Developing Your Offensive Philosophy vs Junk Defense

By Rory Hamilton

(This is part 2 of a 4 part series on how to attack “junk defense.” Find Part 1 here: 4 Reasons Why You Will See Junk Defense)

Coaches often use the summer as a time to reflect upon the previous season as well as think about the future. What worked? What didn’t? What are our strengths? What are our weaknesses? What are the areas we need to improve the most to have a successful season? Will I need to modify or change my offensive and defensive schemes to better fit my personnel? Self reflection is a critical component of a growth mindset and it will help you continue to grow professionally as a coach. This post deals with developing your offensive philosophy versus junk defense. As you are planning for the upcoming season, make sure you have a plan of attack and philosophy versus junk. Here are a few thoughts to stimulate your thinking:

  1. Do you run normal offense versus junk defense?
  2. Will you run quick hitters, continuities, or special offenses versus junk defense?
  3. Do you run your offense to get your star player shots, or do you run offensive to create easy scoring opportunities for your other players?

Running Normal Offense

One of the biggest reasons junk defenses are used is to take the opposing team out of rhythm and make them play unorthodox. A simple approach is to not allow the opposing team to take you out of what you want to do offensively. If you decide to run your normal offensive system versus junk, make sure build in practice time accordingly. Teach your players how to attack and make reads within your offensive system. It doesn’t matter if you run motion, flex, PNR continuities, or a set play offense. Often times it is not about what you run versus junk, but how you run it.

Quick Hitters, Continuities, or Special Offenses

Another philosophy versus is to have sets, continuities, or special offenses designed to attack junk defenses. The pros are that you are putting players in specific positions and creating scoring opportunities for them. Often times if you can score a couple of times using a quick hitter or set versus junk, sometimes the opposing coach may get out of the defense. The cons are that teams can be a little predictable and it does adequate practice time to execute them properly.

Star Player vs. Team

The last item you need to reflect upon when putting together an offensive philosophy versus junk is to decide whether you are going to design your offense to get your star player(s) shots or create scoring opportunities for your other players. To me, this is by far the hardest question to answer because everything else is contingent upon it. Will your star player accept not scoring and still play within the confines of the team? Does your team have the confidence in each other to step up and make plays? Do you tire out your star player so much running off screens and moving that they are ineffective once they touch the ball? Personally, I like a balance of giving my team supreme confidence to make plays for each other but yet have a few simple sets/plays designed to free up my star player. The reason I like balance is because if a team is more athletic and decides to “no touch” your star player, you and your team may get frustrated trying to free up your star player. It is here where you can use the star player to free up team mates and get them in positions to create scoring chances.

Next Post: Simple Sets & Concepts for Attacking Box/Diamond & 1

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Rory Hamilton

Rory Hamilton has 21 years of basketball coaching experience at the collegiate and high school level. Coach Hamilton is the current girls basketball coach at Norman North High School. In 5 years his team has posted a 85-49 record, won four mid-season tournament titles and appeared in five 6A area tournaments. In 2019, Norman North won the silver ball losing in the 6A state championship game to Norman High School. Coach Hamilton was named Central Oklahoma Conference girls coach of the year along with earning Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association Large Class All-State coach. Prior to Norman North, he served as the head girls coach at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City, OK. In seven years at MSM, he posted a 108-75 record and is the winningest girls coach in school history. Coach Hamilton led the Rockets to three consecutive 4A state tournament appearances. In 2011-2012, the Rockets had a 20-7 record and made it to the state tournament for the first time in school history. The next year in 2012-2013, the Rockets posted a 25-6 record and earned the silver ball, losing in the 4A state championship game to Fort Gibson. In 2013-2014, the Rockets posted a 23-7 record and lost to Anadarko in the 4A state tournament semifinals. Coach Hamilton was named Central Oklahoma Conference coach of the year three times and was selected to coach the Little All-City all-star game three consecutive years from 2012-2014. Coach Hamilton has coached 6 NCAA Division 1 players, 6 NCAA Division II players and several playing at the NAIA and NJCAA levels.
Feb. 4, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA, USA – Villanova’s Daniel Ochefu (23) and Dylan Ennis double-team Marquette’s Matt Carlino (13) in the second half at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Villanova won, 70-52. (Credit Image: � Yong Kim/TNS/ZUMA Wire)

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